What’s hot? Where’s safe? And where haven’t I even thought of? Our travel experts give you an insiders’ view on where to travel to in 2017. Culture, history, adventure and wine! This highly underrated Eastern European gem has everything you could wish for. Fairytale scenery of remote hilltop churches enveloped by mountains and serene turquoise lakes. For the adventurous the stunning Alpine landscape of hidden valleys and magical waterfalls are perfect for a myriad of outdoor pursuits such as hiking, biking and kayaking. The compact Capital of Ljubljana is packed with gothic architecture, funky street art and a buzzing cafe culture not to mention a medieval castle and an enchanting Old Town of narrow alleyways and 19th Century wooden shop-fronts. Soak it all up with a glass or two of excellent Slovenian wine!
What’s hot? Where’s safe? And where haven’t I even thought of? Our travel experts give you an insiders’ view on where to travel to in 2017.
Culture, history, adventure and wine! This highly underrated Eastern European gem has everything you could wish for. Fairytale scenery of remote hilltop churches enveloped by mountains and serene turquoise lakes. For the adventurous the stunning Alpine landscape of hidden valleys and magical waterfalls are perfect for a myriad of outdoor pursuits such as hiking, biking and kayaking. The compact Capital of Ljubljana is packed with gothic architecture, funky street art and a buzzing cafe culture not to mention a medieval castle and an enchanting Old Town of narrow alleyways and 19th Century wooden shop-fronts. Soak it all up with a glass or two of excellent Slovenian wine!
Wedged between Russia and the Baltic Sea, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are another excellent choice for an imaginative adventure in 2017. With a combination of historic Capital cities, beautiful coastlines and unspoilt, thickly forested countryside the Baltics have a history of folkloric traditions that have survived oppression and are a must-see for the curious traveller. Coastal Tallinn is one of the best preserved medieval Capital cities in the world, Riga is better known for it’s cosmopolitan atmosphere and vibrant nightlife while easy-going Vilnius has a more bohemian vibe. Estonia has wild and rugged coastline with over 1500 islands and islets, Latvia boasts white-sand beaches fringed with pine-trees and Lithuania is known for its thousands of lakes!
Many head straight to South Africa for a Southern Africa safari but neighbouring Namibia boasts excellent safari parks as well as unique natural phenomena, fantastic adventure activities and is safe, calm and quiet. The country has gained international acclaim for its effort in conservation and is one of the few places in the world where lion and elephant populations (as well as many other large mammals) are on the increase. Thanks to its deserts and vast open spaces Namibia is also among the top 3 places in the world for star-gazing and has been rated a ‘Gold level’ dark sky reserve by the International Dark Sky Association. The imposing Namib desert, the oldest in the world, hosts truly surreal landscapes such as the shipwrecks of the Skeleton Coast, the petrified trees at Sossusvlei and extraordinary Quiver Tree forests. Finally head to Swakopmund for serious Desert adventure on sandboards, dune buggies, sky dives and ‘Living Desert’ tours.
With so much exposure to urban American life on TV, it can almost feel like we know the place already, but what we don’t see everyday are the awe-inspiring National Parks where huge herds of buffalo, elk, caribou and moose roam free amongst wolves, coyotes, grizzly bears and lynx. From ancient desert canyons, snow-capped mountains, creaking glaciers, exploding geysers and rainbow coloured hot springs, the US is a nature-lovers’ paradise! For city dwellers discover the soul of America in smooth and sexy New Orleans, tingling with history, culture and jazz. An adventure tour here can be combined with stopovers in New York, Chicago, LA or any of the other numerous iconic cities.
This fascinating country in the corner of South America has long since left behind its troubled days. Nowadays Colombia is safe, extremely friendly and welcomes tourists who are returning in ever greater numbers. It’s cities are modern and cosmopolitan with plenty of history, culture and Latin American spice. The countryside ranges from idyllic Caribbean beaches, lush Amazonian jungle, rolling coffee plantations of the lower Andes and snow-capped peaks towering to over 5000m. Head here soon before the rest of the world discovers the beauty and friendliness of this hot destination!
A few years ago you couldn't move on the river Nile for boat traffic and tourists but not so now, and there is no reason why not! 2017 is a fantastic opportunity to see some of the most incredible sights in the world and enjoy great value and a relatively uncrowded experience. Visit Abu Simbel, Valley of the Kings, relax on a felucca trip down the Nile and see Tutankahmun's mask. We think this is an incredible destination worth considering while the tourist numbers are low!
Another favourite of years gone by that has been tarred with the ‘Middle East Issues’ brush with no good reason. Jordan is politically stable and keen to revive it’s tourism industry: it boasts cheap flights, amazing accommodation, welcoming locals and spectacular archaeological sites. Visit the 2000 yr-old ancient city of Petra and have it all to yourself. Explore ‘Lawrence of Arabia Land’ in the Red Desert by 4WD or camel, and float in the world’s oldest natural spa, the Dead Sea, at 350m below sea level. There are incredibly good value packages for small group trips and tailor made itineraries. Jordan is likely to see a spike in visitor numbers in the next couple of years due to its ease and proximity to Europe so get in quick before the crowds return.
Borneo is an incredible destination for exotic wildlife, steamy jungles, colourful oceans, fascinating tribes and paradisiacal beaches. The icon of Borneo is the beautiful Orangutan, which is facing increased threats to its survival and most trips to Borneo include a visit to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, where orphaned baby Orangutans are taught how to survive, and eventually released back in to the wild. An experience not to be missed is the stunning Mount Kinabalu, or perhaps a visit to a tribal homestay. This is a destination that we think many people will consider for 2017.
This Far-Eastern destination has been talked about a lot this year, and with good reason! With a fascinating culture, kind and courteous people, delicious food and breath-taking landscapes a trip to Japan should be on everyone’s Bucket List. Where else can you see the home of Ninjas and Samurais, wander through magical bamboo forests and cherry-blossom wonderlands, hike through Japanese Alps, visit ancient castles, Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines juxtaposed with squeaky-clean and ultra-modern cities, not to mention feasting on mouth-watering traditional food. Japan has long had a reputation for being expensive, and whilst it seems to be shaking this off, accommodation can be costly with food being relatively inexpensive, making a small group tour, with accommodation included, an excellent value way to visit this Oriental paradise.
If you like the sound of any of these hot destinations, or would like to pick our brains about another country on your bucket list - get in touch with our travel specialists today.